MNDF storms Majlis arrests MP Ali Azim

The Maldives National Defense Forces (MNDF) has stormed the People’s Majlis and arrested Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ali Azim today after the Supreme Court stripped Azim and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Mohamed Nashiz of their parliamentary seats over decreed debt on Thursday (October 24).

The Parliamentary Privileges Committee, in a statement on Friday, said they do not accept the Supreme Court’s “politically motivated” verdict as it was issued in contravention of the Supreme Court’s procedures.

Lines of grey clad security officers with their arms intertwined blocked the main entrance to the Majlis this morning ahead of an extraordinary session scheduled to discuss interim arrangements should a president-elect not be determined at the end of the current presidential term on November 11.

The security officers refused to allow Azim entry as MDP MPs advocated in support of Azim. The MP for Malé signed the Majlis attendance roster despite the officers’ attempts to block him. Shortly afterwards at approximately 10:00 am, fifteen combat clad soldiers arrived at the Majlis, stormed the building, surrounded Azim and removed him from the Majlis premises.

In the ensuing scuffle, DRP MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed was pushed to the floor. The MNDF then turned Azim over to a waiting police can outside the Majlis gates. Government aligned MPs cheered the MNDF’s actions.

A statement released by the MNDF this morning read: “We have handed over Ali Azim to the Maldives Police Services after he assaulted security officers at the People’s Majlis and disobeyed officer’s orders. The Supreme Court has stripped Ali Azim of his seat.”

This morning’s statement contradicts a statement issued last night in which the MNDF said its role was to oversee security at the Majlis, not to determine who can enter its premises.

“The Maldives National Defense Forces are mandated with overseeing People’s Majlis security. It is People’s Majlis Speaker who decides those who can enter the building,” the statement said.

The parliamentary regulations also state the Majlis premises are controlled by the Majlis Speaker. Article 4 of parliamentary regulations read: “Unless otherwise explicitly stated in the Constitution or laws, the Majlis building, hall, the pathways and corridors leading to the hall within the Majlis premises and the Majlis courtyard is under the control and orders of the Majlis Speaker.”

According to MDP parliamentary group leader Ibrahim ‘Ibu’ Mohamed Solih, the Speaker had sent a letter to the MNDF stating that Azim can enter the Majlis, but had not been able to reach the Chief of Defense Forces following the letter.

Suspension invalid

The Parliamentary Privileges Committee, in its Friday statement, said that Azim and Nashiz’s parliamentary membership continues despite the Supreme Court ruling.

“The parliamentary privileges committee, at its 21st sitting, has decided that the Supreme Court’s stripping seats of MPs Ali Azim and Mohamed Nashiz is invalid and their seats are not vacant and their parliamentary membership continues,” the statement said.

The committee expressed concern over the verdict saying, “Hearings in the case were concluded over a year ago, but the case was fast tracked and a sentence was issued in absentia. This is a politically motivated act to obstruct the no-confidence motions scheduled against a cabinet minister.”

“We believe the ruling violates the Supreme Court’s procedures. One Supreme Court Justice had received the statements the day before and has asked for a delay until Monday to research the case and prepare an opinion. But he was not given the opportunity to do and the ruling was issued without his opinion,” the statement read.

The Supreme Court case was filed in November 2012 by Mohamed Haleem, a member of the Jumhooree Party’s (JP’s) legal committee. The last hearing of the case took place almost a year ago.

Haleem contended that the MPs should be removed from parliament following a Civil Court judgment in February 2010 involving non-payment of five credit facilities worth MVR117 million (US$9 million) issued to Funadoo Tuna Products by the Bank of Maldives (BML), for which the pair had signed as loan guarantors.

As the lower court judgment was subsequently upheld by the High Court, the Civil Court in 2012 authorised BML to seize the assets mortgaged for the loans, which included Funadoo island, a yacht, and the Reethi Beach Resort.

While the majority Supreme Court verdict held that mortgaged assets was not cause for disregarding a judgment to settle the debt, Chief Justice Faiz ruled that the guarantors would only have to bear responsibility if the debt could not be settled by selling the mortgaged assets.

Arrested for assault

Azim, MP for mid-Henveiru, joined the MDP from the government-aligned DRP in June this year.

Nashiz, MP for Raa Alifushi, is a half-brother of DRP Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali and husband of the party’s deputy leader MP Rozaina Adam. Following the annulled first round of the presidential election on September 7, the DRP decided to back MDP presidential candidate and former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Rozaina has released a Civil Court letter on twitter stating that Nashiz has no decreed debt.

With the provisional support of 10 DRP MPs, the MDP had gained a majority of the 77-member parliament – the MDP had 34 seats.

The police have confirmed Azim’s arrest and said they are investigating an “individual for forcibly entering the Majlis premises, attacking officers and disobeying soldier’s orders” at the request of the MNDF.

Speaking to local broadcaster Raajje TV, Azim’s lawyer said the MP is being charged with assault and is currently being treated at the hospital for injuries sustained during his arrest.

The MDP has condemned Azim’s arrest and said “We condemn in the strongest terms, the security force’s attack on parliament members and attempt to dishonor the Majlis.”

The party has called on the Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizz to launch an investigation immediately.

Meanwhile, the Majlis secretariat has announced it is hiring an independent Sergeant at Arms to oversee security of Majlis sittings and parliamentary committee hearings.

Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) MP Ahmed Mahloof told local media Azim assaulted PPM presidential candidate and MP Yameen Abdul Gayoom this morning.

Meanwhile, MDP MP Hamid Abdul Gafoor remains holed up at the Majlis after the Crminal Court ordered the Police to arrest Hamid and present him to court over refusal to provide a urine sample.

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24 thoughts on “MNDF storms Majlis arrests MP Ali Azim”

  1. MDP and those who can see freedom being robbed should not give up. They cannot arrest the whole population.

    Keep up the spirit till we get our independence back

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  2. Gayoom is running the country again. This is the brutal dictatorship taking over with force. Disgusting!

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  3. Now get it . It is not only Police and Defence Minister at our service. Also Chief of Staff. Qasim better toe the line with us or else he can guess what will happen to him. Long live Maumoon and Yamin. We shall rule

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  4. The old chap must be rubbing his hands.
    His plans are working perfectly.
    He is almost controlling everything!!!

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  5. Shocking but predictable.

    The army has now shown its true colours and they along with the police are now working truly for Gayoom and the PPM.

    The PPM have now locked down the Maldives with police, army and the majority of the SC.

    The next step will be to now totally dismantle the MDP and/or especially remove Nasheed from the election by any means. Only then, will they allow an election to take place when they know they
    will win.

    They will almost certainly get clearance to get Waheed to continue (despite what he says) he will then 'retire' and Gayoom's son will take over for another bout of dictatorship.

    Any Trade Union attempts to threaten or actually go on strike will result in the Unions being declared unlawful and therefore losing their members any forward guidance making action difficult to coordinate.
    Going on sick leave will be ineffective.

    Only mass resignations on a set day directly in the middle of the Tourist high season will have any effect. This will take careful coordination and a steely nerve by participants.

    However, foreign ATC controllers will be drafted in by the government. The army will handle the ground side and safeguard the resort docks etc.

    Protesters trying to disrupt will be harshly treated.

    I am afraid the die is cast. There is no legal redresses possible. No fair elections will be held. Its done, its finished. No India will come to the rescue. The UN will just protest then forget you. China will just shrug and smile.

    The only ones to come to the rescue will be the last people you would want: Al Qu'aida.
    Gayoom would be better, but he is giving them an open invitation.

    Things have changed since 1978 and Gayoom cannot see what is happening in the rest of the islamic world. Dictatorship in Islamic countries is dead and gone, ask the ghosts of Saddam and Gaddafi. Look what has happened in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt. Look what is happening in Syria.

    This unrest will ferment and hit Jordan next, and spread down through the gulf.

    It will happen in the Maldives. Gayoom is a fool and he will have the blood of thousands on his hands for denying democracy and allowing the extremists a reason for infiltrating the Maldives.

    All this is like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

    Maldives: Paradise Lost

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  6. Maldives since February 2012 simply has become a textbook case of what happens when a country is driven against the wall. When anticipating the further events, it now seems clear to me, what the perspective for the Maldives will be in the next months.

    The whole world can watch how the country is falling apart. Or could, as almost no one is watching the situation closely. Unfortunately actions by the international community need a lot of time and discussions. So before the Maldives will see any international support to rebuilld democracy and credible institutions, you poor guys down there in paradise are facing one or two more years of chaos. Perhaps with free and fair elections, perhaps without. Hopefully state violence will not pass the point of no return, where civil order is going to ultimately stop.

    Simply a exotic version of a classic greek tragedy. If I was a student again, this would be a great topic for a PhD.

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  7. Maldives parliament is composed of fraud and debt ridden and compromised individuals, who are ideal for all parties, MDP and PPM. Infact it is MDP who filed a motion to court to remove these MP. But the MPs have changed sides and accordingly, MDP has 'revised' third position!

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  8. And by the way all criminals in Maldives get salvation and become saints the very second when they are annointed to MDP and drunk from the holy cup

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  9. All these so called strong powerful rich and ruthless better remember there is an Almighty creator called Allah watching us and He shall at an appropriate time show His hand. Maumoon may die, Qasim will fall and Yamin shall fall fatally sick. Who knows. The God worshipping and fearing citizens of Maldives will be saved from these devils by none other than Allah. Have mercy on us Almighty Allah. Amin

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  10. Its the discrimination that worries me. These 2 guys must be booted out.

    But so does Nazim, and Yamin. ChasRandu too. Alhan as well. May be half of the Majlis.

    All criminals, MUST be kicked out of the Parliament.

    Sad to say, we are seeing pissing contest going on. NOT ONE, has got the democratic reforms on their minds. None of them has got the countrys' best interest as priorities!

    And can someone do something about Maumoon who seems to poking his pecker into every thing!!!

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  11. This can get worse.

    (1) If power is being used to abuse the people, then power is the only way to confront it.

    (2) There are 3 instruments available to the regime and its master PPM. The police, the military and the axis of evil comprised of 4 characters in the Supreme Court.

    (3) Those 3 instruments have been used now. We know what they can do.

    (4) The people can face off these 3 and win. This is 2013 and not they hey days when Gay Yoom terrorised the population using the security forces.

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  12. The people can protest as much as they like but the road to democracy is now a very long way ahead!!!

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  13. @andrea Andreas
    On the spot comment. 'The mockery' should replace the word 'democracy'. But I guess it's like this in most countries

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  14. Jokers...Does not look like a Country...Looks like a family feud. Shame on all of you. From now on do not criticize other countries as "Sakkaraa"...You are the biggest "Sakkaraa" World will ever see.

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  15. #Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb

    I admire your optimism.

    However, if Gay Oom can treat MPs like he is doing and other government officials how is he likely to treat the 'little people' who oppose him?

    Do you know what he will do? He will use the 'terrorist' get out jail free card.

    Assad in Syria is doing the same thing. He will label all the protesters as terrorists or having terrorist cells within them. This will give carte blanche for him to use extreme force by police and army against protestors who begin to damage property or threaten officials.

    All he cares about is the resorts. Male City could sink and he would not care. If the airport sinks also he will use Gan to fly and boat them in. Male's contribution to the overall GDP is insignificant.

    Withdrawal of labour en-masse is the only way.

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  16. The stakes are being raised higher and higher every day by using the axis of evil in the Supreme Court.

    Not to worry. Revenge will be sweet when it comes, for sure!

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  17. "There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice."

    Charles de Montesquieu

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  18. @peasant on Sun, 27th Oct 2013 12:31 AM

    “There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”

    How apt is that for these islands.

    @Private Tourist:

    Gay Yoom can plot and get his dogs to do whatever they can. However, we have to remember that gone are the days when he had carte blanche to terrorise us. Here is the reason:

    (1) Imagine the worst, i.e. Yameen comes to power. The old ways will return. Nepotism and corruption will take a whole new meaning.

    (2) Yameen will use the same treatment that Gay used to get his staying power, so to speak. That is to get as many people as possible involved in corruption and the proceeds of it. That creates a deep rooted network which has to remain loyal to reap the benefits of the "system".

    (3) However, life will never be that comfortable to any Maldivian leader ever again. He has to constantly look over his shoulder to see who is going to backstab him next! I'm willing to bet that if Yameen does come to power today, he won't last long.

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  19. Just to expand on my previous point of the deep rooted network mired in corruption or the proceeds of it:

    (1) This is how most dictators the world over manage to stay in control for such long periods.

    (2) They buy or blackmail the loyalty of those around or under them. That network is then used to terrorise the rest!

    (3) If you look closely at those that hang around Gay and his party like leeches, you can smell the stench of years of filthy corruption on every single one of them. Every single one of them benefitted directly or indirectly from the "system" that Gay created. That benefit was at the expense of the general Maldivian public.

    (4) We know all the prominent examples, such as Jangiyaa Nazim who literally became millionaires overnight, starting from nothing, whilst holding government positions. Don't tell me that was hard work and luck.

    (5) Gay would proudly point at those as examples of the success he created. He couldn't and didn't care less as to how that "success" came about.

    (6) We have got elements of that network deeply rooted in parts of the police, the military and the judiciary. The axis of evil of four in the Supreme Court is the prime example. Those four will be left literally begging on the streets, if they lose their job! They are unemployable outside the "system" that Gay created.

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  20. Here is an interesting story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24661607.

    Madagascar, another Indian Ocean island (much bigger than us) has shown some very similar signs of political instability to ours. They are also trying to get rid of a military dictatorship rather like ours.

    They have failed to hold their elections 3 times. We may outdo them yet!

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  21. Only massive outside pressure has led to the dictators of Madagascar allowing the people to vote. There is a lesson in this for the Maldives! Friendly countries and international donor organisations need to act before our situation gets into that state.

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  22. Azim is no longer a MP . Azim < Thasmeen and Nashiz had taken a 30% of total burrowing from BML and they are not paying pack the loan.

    Why they can use those money and use them and not repay them ?

    If this alright, then anything in this country is OK and any crimes is OK ?

    If a crime is committed by MDP harliner then, it is OK and is acceptable and it must be done or the constitution must be changed to suit to the crime that is committed ?

    This country can not be hijacked by Nasheed and few people and majority of the people do not want Nasheed.

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  23. I do not think there is much chance of effective international pressure. What can they use for leverage? Only strategic treaties and possible energy supplies. The International communities may issue travel boycotts. However, you have one Maverick in the pack, China.

    China is the only country playing down the crisis. They supply almost 60% of the tourists. Gay Oom can survive quite nicely on that. china would also facilitate credit and energy supply basing the Rf on Chinese currency.

    China would also just LOVE a military base at Gan (just like the Russians wanted) even if it means nationalising and re-leasing it to China. What a catch! Gan would complement the huge Chinese Embassy in Male and give China a strategic foothold in the Indian Ocean to stand off the US/UK base in the British Indian Ocean Territory well to the South and giving them tremendous reach up towards the Gulf.

    If the PPM are definitely heading back towards Autocracy and Dictatorship which all evidence supports, then they obviously feel empowered, simply because not only are they ignoring even the UN they are chastising such as Canada for making constructive comments.

    This empowerment must be coming from China as even India is progressively being sidelined and embarrassingly ignored even when a top diplomat arrives to watch the recent cancelled election.... very soon India's security agreement will be replaced by a Chinese arrangement.

    How can the people fight against this? If they protest they get dispersed. If they fight back they get beaten and pepper sprayed and arrested. The only other option is armed revolt, that would mean
    smuggling in weapons, which is virtually impossible and very expensive.

    Only terrorist groups would go to that trouble. But even Terrorists could not survive long in the Maldives, because of its topography, so it would have to be a hit and run, but that would be enough to destroy the Tourist Trade once and for all to the detriment of the Maldives forever, the population would plummet as they flee to India and Sri Lanka.

    Passive Action must be taken IMMEDIATELY. Mass strikes by all Unions in all areas. government, Airport, docks and resorts and all at the same time.

    If the Unions are outlawed then Workers must use Facebook to coordinate the strike. if strikes become illegal, then everyone must RESIGN all on the same day. This would take a steady nerve as many would fear not regaining their job afterwards. But, it costs money to retrain new people and its likely they would be re-employed on the same conditions.

    This must be started NOW before the MDP is dismantled and destroyed.

    You literally only have a couple of weeks to a achieve this. Your MDP members are falling like flies.

    Time is running out, once the MDP is gone they will prevent it reforming by outlawing other parties.

    Maldivians.... GET MOVING!

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  24. @Hero,
    Are you new to Maldives?
    There is no law in this country;
    you can do anything you like as long as you have power and money.
    Religion and democracy are just some of the political tools for personal gain.

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